Walter Whitman – 3 notes about Walt

Historically speaking, did you know that:

American poetry that many readers think of as essentially “American”–free, open ended, rough and inclusive–came largely from poets in New Jersey, particularly Walt Whitman, Stephen Crane, William Carlos Williams, and Allen Ginsburg.

Whitman was born on Long Island but spent 20 years in Camden, N.J.

His “deathbed edition” or “Leaves of Grass” was prepared in 1891.

Ralph Waldo Emerson heralded Whitman as the poet for whom America had been waiting.

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John Tamiazzo, PhD, is executive director of Verde Valley Humane Society.

… Seeing the smiles on their faces and listening to their positive attitudes, reminded me of a book I was currently reading on the life of American poet Walt Whitman, authored by Whitman’s personal physician, Richard Maurice Bucke, MD.

Buck spoke affectionately throughout his memoirs about Whitman’s demeanor.

He said that in the 20 years he knew Whitman he never argued or spoke unkindly about anyone. If literary critics spoke harshly about him or his writings, Whitman would simply say that they were absolutely correct in their criticism, thus lessening the emotion of the situation immediately.

Bucke wrote that the central teaching in Whitman’s poetry and lifestyle is that beauty is all around us and we just need to recognize and appreciate this beauty with our God-given senses.

Whitman strongly believed that we are missing out on the enjoyment of life when we long for things we don’t have or become judgmental too often.

Instead we can simply open our eyes to take notice and to see the bigger picture, open our ears to quietly listen, and open our hearts to a deeper wisdom and knowing of how much there is to be thankful for…

Bucke said that he never met a man who genuinely enjoyed so many things and people as Walt Whitman.

Whitman was kind, generous, gracious, and grateful. He was especially fond of children and animals. He exuded such enormous charm and love that he literally transformed the lives of everyone he met…

 

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